Coroner Identifies People Killed in Barclay Friends Senior Home Fire in Chester County; All 4 Died of Smoke Inhalation - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Coroner Identifies People Killed in Barclay Friends Senior Home Fire in Chester County; All 4 Died of Smoke Inhalation

The victims were identified as Mildred Gadde, Theresa Malloy, Delores Parker and Thomas Parker.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Victims Identified in Senior Home Fire

    The names of victims who died in a senior home fire in West Chester have been released. The coroner's office released the names, saying the victims died of smoke inhalation.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017)

    Four people who died in the burned out Barclay Friends Senior Living Community earlier this month died of smoke inhalation, according to the Chester County Coroner's Office.

    The victims were identified as Mildred Gadde, Theresa Malloy, Delores Parker and Thomas Parker.

    The inferno broke out at the Chester County, Pennsylvania, facility on Nov. 16. It took crews days to recover the bodies from the West Chester fire scene.

    The manner of death — including what cause the fire — is pending further investigation, Coroner Gordon Eck said.

    Special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Response Team, Pennsylvania State Police and Chester County Fire Marshal’s office announced last week they had recovered remains of all those believed to have perished in the fire.

    Investigators continued to sift through the rubble of the Barclay Friends Senior Living Community along North Franklin Street through the Thanksgiving holiday, officials said. A large crane and other excavating equipment was brought to the fire scene as investigators continued the search for a cause of the fire.

    No foul play is suspected in the fire, the ATF said.

    The fire erupted shortly before 11 p.m. while most of the 137 residents were sleeping. The blaze started in the back of one of the buildings, ripped through the center and all the way to the ceiling, creating a "raging inferno," Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said.

    Flames tore through the senior living community's personal care wing with such speed that hundreds of first responders rushed into the building without securing their breathing equipment.

    A Look Into Barclay Senior Community FireA Look Into Barclay Senior Community Fire

    NBC10's Denise Nakano is talking to a man who witnessed the fire that destroyed much of the Barclay Senior Living Community in West Chester from his backyard.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017)

    Several firefighters described their helmets melting and cracking from the intense heat.

    Most of the residents were bedridden or in wheelchairs. Senior home staff and outside neighbors rushed from room to room in the facility, wrapping residents in blankets and sweeping them out in to the frigid night in wheelchairs and even in beds.

    Paramedics took 27 residents to hospitals for treatment. Some of the injuries were described by authorities as "serious." Of those that were rescued without injury, 102 were placed in other facilities and 31 have been taken in by family members.

    Seniors Flee Inferno at Chester Co. Senior Living CommunitySeniors Flee Inferno at Chester Co. Senior Living Community

    Parts of the complex burned for more than 24 hours and unstable walls teetered over the scene.

    Last year, state health officials cited Barclay Friends and its owner Kendal with fire safety violations, including a failure to maintain corridor smoke doors. The violations were recorded in the facility's nursing home section, which was not touched by fire.

    A provisional license status for the nursing home was lifted in February following a new inspection, but at least one fire safety violation remained, state records showed.